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Jewel's Arrival







From: Jewel

When her grandfather had disappeared, Jewel placed Anna Belle on
the seat beside her, where she toed in, in a state of the utmost
complacence.

"I have my work to do, Anna Belle," she said, "and this will be a good
time, so don't disturb me till the train starts." She put her hand over
her eyes, and sat motionless as the people met and jostled in the aisle.

Minutes passed, and then some one brushed the child's arm in taking
the seat beside her. "Oh, please don't sit on Anna Belle!" she cried
suddenly, and looked up into a pair of clear eyes that were regarding
her with curiosity.

They belonged to a man with a brown mustache and dark, short, pointed
beard, who carried a small square black case and had altogether a very
clean, fresh, agreeable appearance.

"Do I look like a person who would sit on Anna Belle?" he asked gravely.

The doll was enthroned upon his knee as he set down his case, and the
train started.

"If she annoys you I'll take her," said Jewel, with a little air of
motherliness not lost upon her companion.

"Thank you," he replied, "but I'm used to children. She looks like a
fine, healthy little girl," keeping his eyes fixed on the doll's rosy
cheeks.

"Yes indeed. She's very healthy."

"Not had measles, or chicken pox, or mumps, or any of those things yet?"
pursued the pleasant voice.

"Oh dear!" gasped Jewel. "Please let me take Anna Belle." She caught her
doll into her arms and met her companion's surprised gaze.

"I haven't any of them," he returned, amused. "Don't be afraid."

"I'm not afraid," answered the child promptly. "There is nothing to be
afraid of."

"I was only going to say," said the young man, "that if she was ailing I
could prescribe for her. I have my case right here."

Jewel's startled look fell to the black case. "What's that! Medicine?"
she asked softly.

"It certainly is. So you see you have a doctor handy if anything ails
the baby."

The child gazed at him with grave scrutiny. "Do you believe in materia
medica?" she asked.

The young doctor threw back his head and laughed heartily. "Well, yes,"
he answered at last. "I am supposed to."

To his surprise his neighbor returned to the attitude in which he had
found her, with one hand over her eyes.

He ceased laughing and looked at her in some discomfiture. Her mouth was
set seriously. There was no quiver of the rosy lips.

To his relief, in a minute she dropped her hand and began to hum and
arrange her doll's hat.

The conductor approached, and as the doctor presented his ticket, he
said, "This little girl's fare is paid, I believe." The conductor nodded
and passed on.

"I'm to get off at Bel-Air," said Jewel. "I hope he doesn't forget."

"If he does, I shan't," said the doctor, "for I'm going to get off there
myself."

The child's eyes brightened. "Isn't that nice!" she returned. Then she
lifted Anna Belle and whispered something into her ear.

"No secrets," said the doctor.

"I was just reminding Anna belle how we are always taken care of,"
returned Jewel.

The young man regarded her with increasing interest and curiosity.

"Don't you wonder how I knew that your fare was paid?" he asked.

"How did you?"

"I met Mr. Evringham hurrying through the station. He said his
granddaughter was on this train and asked me to look out for a little
girl with a doll."

"Oh," returned the child, pleased, "then you know grandpa."

"I've known him ever since I was no bigger than you are. But even then,"
added the doctor mentally, "I hadn't supposed him capable of sending
this baby out from the city alone."

Jewel watched the kind eyes attentively. "So you see," he went on, "all
I had to do was to look for Anna Belle."

"And you nearly sat on her," declared the child.

"I deny it," returned the doctor gravely. "I deny it. You weren't
looking. For one second I was afraid you were crying."

"Crying! What would I be crying for, coming to have a lovely visit at
grandpa's!"

"I suppose you are in a hurry to see your aunt and cousin?" remarked the
doctor.

"Yes, but I don't know them. You see," explanatorily, "they aren't my
real relations."

"Indeed?"

"No, aunt Madge is my uncle's wife and cousin Eloise is her little girl,
but not uncle Lawrence's."

The doctor thought a minute.

"Really? She is a very charming little girl, is your cousin Eloise.
Aren't you going to tell me your name?"

"My name is Jewel."

"And I am Dr. Ballard, so now we are properly introduced." He smiled
upon her with merry eyes, and she responded politely:--

"I'm very glad you found us."

Arrived at Bel-Air, the doctor picked up his case and Jewel followed him
from the train. He looked about expectantly for Mrs. Evringham or her
daughter. They were not there.

The little girl's quick eyes discerned a light-haired driver and a brown
horse coming around a curve of the pretty landscape gardening which
beautified the station. At the same moment Dr. Ballard recognized the
equipage with relief.

"They've sent for you. That is all right," he said, and 'Zekiel, with
one side glance at the little stranger, drew up by the platform.

"Good-morning, Zeke. Here is your passenger." He lifted Jewel to her
place beside the driver, whose smooth, stolid face did not change
expression.

"Do I wait for Mr. Evringham?" he asked, without turning his head in its
stiff collar.

"No, Mr. Evringham remained in town."

"Is there a trunk?" pursued Zeke immovably.

"How about your trunk, little one?" asked the doctor.

Jewel produced a paper check. "A man gave grandpa this for it at the
boat place."

"I'll see to having it sent up then." The doctor looked along the
platform. "It didn't come this trip." He took the child's hand in his.
"I shall see you again before long. Good-by."

Jewel looked after his retreating figure with some regret. Her present
companion seemed carved out of wood. His plum-colored livery fitted
without a wrinkle. His smooth, solemn face appeared incapable of speech.

The swift horse trotted through the village street at a great pace, and
the visitor enjoyed the novel experience so intensely that she could not
forbear stealing a look up at the driver's face.

He caught it. "Ain't afraid, are you?" he asked.

She looked doubtful. "Is it error for the horse to go so fast?" she
returned.

"Error?"'Zekiel regarded the child curiously. "Well, I guess it's
considered one o' the biggest virtues a horse can have."

"Then why did you ask me if I was afraid? You're the third person who's
asked me that this morning," returned Jewel, with wondering inflections
in her soft voice. "Are New York people afraid of things?"

"Well, not so's you'd notice it as a rule," returned Zeke. "I'm glad if
she ain't one o' the scared kind," he pursued, as if to himself.

"Oh, this is splendid," declared Jewel, relieved by her companion's
smile; "I don't know as Anna Belle ever had such a good ride. See the
trees, dearie! How the leaves are coming out! They aren't nearly so
far out in Chicago; but oh," as the horse turned, "there's a big storm
coming! What a black cloud! We're just in time."

"I don't see any cloud," said Zeke, staring about.

"Why, right there in front of us," excitedly, pointing at the long
opaque mass against the sky.

"That? Why, that's hills." Zeke laughed. "The mountain they call it
here. Pretty sickly mountain we'd think it was up Berkshire way."

"Oh, it's a mountain, Anna Belle," joyfully, "we're really seeing a
mountain!"

"No you ain't," remarked Zeke emphatically. "Not by a large majority.
Guess Chicago's some flat, ain't it?"

"We don't have hills, no. So now we're going to see grandpa's park, and
the ravine, and the brook, and--and everything!"

Zeke stole a furtive look at the owner of the joyous voice. The
voluminous ribbon bows behind her ears were mostly in evidence, as she
bent her face over her doll in congratulation.

"Left Mr. Evringham in town, did you?" he asked.

"Yes, he was busy, and in a hurry to get to his office. Grandpa's such
an important man."

"Is he?" asked Zeke.

"Why ye--es! Didn't you know it?"

"I surmised something of the kind. So Dr. Ballard looked after you."

"Yes,--and I do hope my trunk will come."

Jewel looked wistfully at the driver. In spite of his stiff and elegant
appearance he had been surprisingly affable. "I have a checked silk
dress," she added modestly.

"You don't say so!" ejaculated Zeke, wholly won by the smile bent upon
him. "Well, now, if that trunk don't show up by noon, I'll have to do
something about it."



"Oh, thank you!" exclaimed the child.

They now sped through the gates of the park and by the porter's lodge,
and began the ascent of a winding road. Handsome residences were set
among the fine trees, and at sight of each one Jewel looked expectant
and eager.

"I expect mother'll be kind of looking out for us," continued Zeke.
"Poor kid!" he added mentally.

"Grandpa said something about your mother."

"His housekeeper, Mrs. Forbes."

"Oh yes, of course I know about Mrs. Forbes," returned Jewel hastily and
politely. "He told me your name too," she added suggestively.

"Yes, I'm Zeke. And you just remember," emphatically, "that I come when
I'm called. Will you?"

"Yes," replied the child, laughing a little. "Do you know my name?"

"It's Julia, isn't it?"

"Yes, but if you called me by it perhaps I shouldn't come, for I'm used
to the name of Jewel."

"Pretty name, all right," returned Zeke sententiously. "Now you can see
your grandpa's house. The one with the long porch."

Jewel jumped up and down a little in the seat and held Anna Belle to get
a good view. The brown horse trotted with a will, and in a minute more
they had passed up the driveway and paused beneath the porte-cochere.

Mrs. Forbes threw open the door and stood unsmiling.

"Where is Mr. Evringham?" she asked, addressing her son.

"Stayed in town."

The housekeeper stepped forward and helped down the little girl, who had
risen and was looking brightly expectant.

"How do you do, Julia," she said. "Did you come out alone on the cars?"

"No. Dr. Ballard came with me."

"Oh, that was the way of it. Zeke, hitch up the brougham. The ladies are
going out to lunch."

"Why didn't they let me know?" grumbled Zeke. "Could have hitched up the
brougham just as well in the first place."

"Don't ask me," returned his mother acidly. "Where is your bag, Julia?
I hope you haven't left it in the train?"

"No, I didn't have any. I used mother's. She knew I'd have my trunk
to-night."

"Then come in and I'll show you where your room is."

The child looked eagerly and admiringly from side to side as she
followed Mrs. Forbes up two flights of broad shallow stairs and into an
apartment which to her eyes seemed luxurious.

"Was this ever my father's room?" she asked.

"Why yes, I believe it was," returned Mrs. Forbes, to whom that
circumstance had not before occurred.

"How kind of grandpa to let me have it!" said Jewel, highly pleased.

"He wasn't in it much, your father wasn't. Away at school or some other
place mostly. Where's your trunk?"

"It's coming. Zeke said he'd attend to it." Jewel looked up happily. "I
have a"--she was intending to communicate to Mrs. Forbes the exciting
detail of her wardrobe when the housekeeper interrupted her.

"My son's name is Ezekiel," she said impressively.

"Oh," returned Jewel abashed. "He told me Zeke." She still stood in the
middle of the large white room, Anna Belle in her arms, and with the
surprised look in her serious face drew upon herself an unflattering
mental comment.

"The image of Harry," thought Mrs. Forbes.

"Can I see aunt Madge and cousin Eloise?" asked the child, beginning to
feel some awe of the large woman regarding her.

"They're getting ready to go out to lunch. They can't be disturbed now.
You can sit here, or walk around until lunch time. You'll know when
that is ready, because the gong will sound in the hall. Now when you go
downstairs be careful not to touch the tall clock on the landing. That
is a very valuable chiming clock, and you mustn't open its doors, for
fear you would break something. Then if you go into the parlor you must
never play on the piano unless you ask somebody, for fear Mr. Evringham
might be trying to take a nap just at that time; then you mustn't go
into the barn without permission, for it's dangerous where the horses
are, and you might get kicked. If you're tired from your journey you can
lie down now till lunch time; but whenever you do lie down, be sure to
turn off this white spread, for fear you might soil it. Now I'm very
busy, and I shan't see you again till lunch."

Mrs. Forbes departed and Jewel stood for half a minute motionless,
feeling rather dazed by a novel sensation of resentment.

"As if we were babies!" she whispered to her doll. "She's the most
afraid woman I ever saw, and she looks so sorry! She isn't our
relation, so no matter, dearie, what she says. This is father's room,
and we can think how he used to run around here when he was a little
boy."

Tiptoeing to the door, Jewel closed it and began to inspect her new
apartment.

The sweet smelling soap on the marble stand, the silver mountings of the
faucets, the large fine towels, the empty closet and drawers, all looked
inviting. Throughout her examination the little girl kept pausing to
listen.

Surely aunt Madge and cousin Eloise would look in before they went out
to their engagement. Mother had so often said how nice it was that they
were there. Surely they didn't know that she had arrived. That was it,
of course; and Mrs. Forbes was so sorry and anxious she would probably
forget to tell them.

Some altercation was just then going on in the apartments of those
ladies.

"We ought to speak to her before we go," said Mrs. Evringham
persuasively. "Father would probably resent it if we didn't."

"I have told you already," returned Eloise, "that I do not intend doing
one thing henceforward that grandfather could interpret as being done to
please him."

"But that is carrying it ridiculously far, not to greet your cousin, who
has come from a journey and is your guest."

"My guest!" returned the girl derisively. "We are hers more likely. I
will not go to her. The sooner grandfather sends us away the better."

Mrs. Evringham looked worried.

"This is mania, Eloise!" she returned coaxingly. "Very well, I shall go
and speak to the child. She shan't be able to tell her grandfather of
any rudeness."

In a few minutes Jewel, sitting by her window, Anna Belle in her lap,
heard the frou-frou of skirts in the hall, and with a knock at the
door, a lady entered. She was arrayed in a thin black gown and wore a
large black hat, that was very becoming.

Jewel's admiration went out to her on the instant and she started up.

The lady swept toward her, and bending, a delicate perfume wafted about
Jewel as she felt a light touch of lips on her cheek.

"So this is Julia Evringham," said the newcomer.

"And you are aunt Madge," returned the child gladly, clinging to the
gloved hand, which endured for a moment, and then firmly disengaged
itself.

"Your father and mother got off all right I hope?" went on the airy
voice. "I'm always afraid of winds at this season myself, but they may
not have them. Your cousin Eloise and I are hurrying away to a luncheon,
but we shall see you at dinner. You're very comfortable here? That's
right. Good-bye."

She swept away, and the light again faded from Jewel's face as she went
slowly back to her seat.

"Aunt Madge is afraid, too," she said to the doll. "We know there won't
be winds, don't we, dearie? God will take care of father and mother."

An uncomfortable lump rose towards the child's throat.

Mrs. Evringham followed Eloise into the brougham, smiling.

"It couldn't be better," she announced with much satisfaction as they
drove away.

"What?"

"She is plain--oh, plain as possible. Small eyes, large mouth,
insignificant nose. She will never get on with father. He never
could endure ugliness in a girl or woman. I have heard him say it was
unpardonable. If it hadn't been that we were what we are, Eloise, I
should never have dreamed of doing as I have done. Now if only some good
fairy would open your eyes to see which side your bread is buttered on!
You could do marvels with such a foil for contrast."





Next: The First Evening

Previous: Bon Voyage



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